GRIM NAMIBIAN PORTENT
by Edward May, Lutheran World Ministries
New York, New York, United States
Undated, about late 1975
Lutheran World Ministries
Mailing on events surrounding the assassination of Philemon Elifas, Chief of the Ovambos. The mailing says Elifas was a puppet ruler whose leadership ran counter to all that his people stood for; he was voted into office in an election where fewer than 3% of the people voted; following the boycotted elections carne a wave of repression. The mailing includes a reprint of the manuscript from the 15 September 1975 issue of FOCUS ON PUBLIC AFFAIRS. The mailing says since you 'have indicated a special interest in the Namibian people and their liberation, I am sharing it with you now trusting that you will take the actions suggested; on 3 September, the Washington Post reported that the Constitutional Summit has adjourned in deadlock over the question of admitting U.S. constitutional lawyer Samuel Schwarz as an adviser to tribal delegations". The mailing says due to political persecution, thousands of people of organizing ability had fled into Zambia once the Angola border opened up after the Portuguese coup in April, 1974. The mailing says Chief Elifas was an outspoken supporter of the Bantustan system, and even indicated that he would be open to an independent Ovamboland. The mailing discusses Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and says the talks at Victoria Falls were largely a failure because Ian Smith refused to accept the reality that no political solution will be acceptable in Zimbabwe as long as the Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole, an exile is not permitted to participate in the talks; Sithole represents too many people to be excluded; the United States can register its displeasure at his exclusion in a number of ways; the most telling of these would be to reinstate sanctions against Rhodesian chrome; Congressional representatives must hear from constituents that they support HR 1287 which would accomplish this. The mailing asks people to phone your congressional representatives and wire Senator Dick Clark, Chairman of the African Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Thomas Morgan, Chairman of the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives. The mailing asks people to send letters of support to President Lukas DeVries, Evangelical Lutheran Church of SW Africa; Bishop Leonard Auala, Ovambokavango Lutheran Church; and The Rev. Edward Morrow, Anglican Church. The mailing discusses the Southwest African Peoples Organization (SWAPO), Robben Island, Bishop Richard Wood, flogging, "Constitutional Summit", Resolution 366 of the U.N. Security Council, amnesty for political exiles, release of political prisoners, Great Britain, France, the United States, a mandatory arms embargo, and the UN Security Council.
Used by permission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (successor to the Lutheran Church in America, The American Lutheran Church, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches which of which Lutheran World Ministries was a joint agency).
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root